Act 4 Scene 1
OTHELLO. What? what?
OTHELLO. With her?
IAGO. With her, on her, what you will.
OTHELLO. Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when they
belie her. Lie with her! ‘Zounds, that’s fulsome! Handkerchief-
confessions- handkerchief! To confess and be hanged for his labor-
first, to be hanged, and then to confess. I tremble at it.
Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without
some instruction. It is not words that shakes me thus. Pish!
Noses, ears, and lips. Is’t possible? Confess? Handkerchief? O
Falls in a trance.
IAGO. Work on,
My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught,
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho! My lord!
My lord, I say! Othello!
OTHELLO. Dost thou hear, Iago?
I will be found most cunning in my patience;
But (dost thou hear?) most bloody.
IAGO. That’s not amiss;
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A housewife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature
That dotes on Cassio, as ’tis the strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
And his unbookish jealousy must construe
Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures, and light behavior
Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?
IAGO. And did you see the handkerchief?
OTHELLO. Was that mine?
IAGO. Yours, by this hand. And to see how he prizes the foolish
woman your wife! She gave it him, and he hath given it his wh*re.
OTHELLO. I would have him nine years akilling. A fine woman! a fair
woman! a sweet woman!
IAGO. Nay, you must forget that.
OTHELLO. Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned tonight, for
she shall not live. No, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it,
and it hurts my hand. O, the world hath not a sweeter creature.
She might lie by an emperor’s side, and command him tasks.
OTHELLO. O, a thousand, a thousand times. And then, of so gentle a
IAGO. Ay, too gentle.
OTHELLO. Nay, that’s certain. But yet the pity of it, Iago!
O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
IAGO. If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to
offend, for, if it touch not you, it comes near nobody.
OTHELLO. I will chop her into messes. Cuckold me!
IAGO. Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, even the bed
she hath contaminated.
DESDEMONA. My lord?
OTHELLO. I am glad to see you mad.
DESDEMONA. Why, sweet Othello?
OTHELLO. Devil! Strikes her.
DESDEMONA. I have not deserved this.
LODOVICO. Is this the noble Moor whom our full Senate
Call all in all sufficient? This the nature
Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
The shot of accident nor dart of chance
Could neither graze nor pierce?
IAGO. He is much changed.
LODOVICO. Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
IAGO. He’s that he is. I may not breathe my censure
What he might be: if what he might he is not,
I would to heaven he were!
Act 4 Scene 2
OTHELLO. Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
Lay on my bed my wedding sheets. Remember,
And call thy husband hither.
DESDEMONA. ‘Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
How have I been behaved, that he might stick
The small’st opinion on my least misuse?
EMILIA. A halter pardon him! And hell gnaw his bones!
Why should he call her wh*re? Who keeps her company?
What place? What time? What form? What likelihood?
IAGO. I pray you, be content; ’tis but his humor:
The business of the state does him offense,
And he does chide with you.
Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.
RODERIGO. How do you mean, removing of him?
IAGO. Why, by making him uncapable of Othello’s place; knocking out
Act 4 Scene 3
DESDEMONA. I have heard it said so. O, these men, these men!
Dost thou in conscience think- tell me, Emilia-
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?
EMILIA. There be some such, no question.
DESDEMONA. Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
EMILIA. Why, would not you?
DESDEMONA. No, by this heavenly light!
EMILIA. Nor I neither by this heavenly light; I might do’t as well
i’ the dark.